www.czu.cz/vyzkum/publikace/ Manfred G.Raupp; www.raupp.info
The Centre for Applied Biosciences of the University of Freiburg Celebrates
its 5th Anniversary ? A Chronicle of Success
"The Centre is a success story of scientists and science,? said Biology
Professor Gunther Neuhaus at the event, celebrating the 5th anniversary of
the Centre for Applied Biosciences (ZAB) in the biological faculty. Neuhaus
is the head of a small group of co-workers of the ZAB office which, being an
information and communication platform, promotes the life sciences.
Meeting point: GreenhouseThe Centre coordinates research projects of six
faculties focusing on biotechnology and medicine. Founded approximately 5
years ago, it was the initial task of the centre to conduct
interdisciplinary science. ?We are still a virtual science centre, which,
over the years, has gradually adopted new tasks,? said Neuhaus. According to
the experience of the scientists, the university has to open itself to the
public and to show its excellent scientific performance, which is, amongst
other things, necessary to raise funds.
Excellent contacts with the industry
The ZAB supports the scientists in making contacts with industry,
foundations or the big science bodies. ?We already have a reputation for
being a 'can do' organisation and have the ability to make connections,?
explains the Professor. For example, when research funds are to be raised
for a project of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) or
the EU, the ZAB supports the scientists up to the stage when a contract will
The team of Professor Neuhaus is also the central contact for companies
looking for a scientific cooperation partner. ?We have an overview of which
experts are working on which projects,? said Dr. Christian Jehle of the ZAB.
The interests of either side are being assessed and coordinated. The two ZAB
co-workers, Christian Jehle and Susanne Schlatter, evaluate the offers
regarding research funding of supra-regional institutes and forward them to
the appropriate persons without using time-consuming official channels.
Virtual centre within the scientific environment
Founding director Prof. Albrecht E. Sippel (on the right) and Managing
Director Prof. Gunther NeuhausNeuhaus regards it as a great advantage of the
virtual centre that all connections can be made in a swift and
unbureaucratic way within the scientific environment, to which Neuhaus and
co-workers have contributed significantly. ?We are able to adopt new
technologies and support the cooperation with other scientists much faster
than other organisations.? An example of the swift reaction towards new
developments in the life sciences are, amongst others, the five current
thematic topics of the ZAB: Transgenic technologies & tissue engineering,
nanobiotechnology, plant biotechnology, medical technologies and
computational biology. ?We can, if required, immediately form a new
platform,? said Neuhaus.
Computational Biology has only recently been set up among biologists,
computer scientists and bioinformaticians. For the ZAB staff, opening to the
public means not only contacts with industry but also representations at
trade fairs, cooperation in life science associations such as the BioValley
or, as members of a university commission, with the Chamber of Industry and
Commerce. By doing so, a concrete network is established besides the virtual
centre supporting successful fund raising.
Students gaining practical insights
By offering colloquia and practical courses in cooperation with local
biotechnology companies, the ZAB also integrates students who want to
distinguish themselves in the life sciences. ?The University is unable to
offer practical education to the same extent as we can,? said Neuhaus. The
appreciation of their work is therefore logical. In the course of the
cross-sectional evaluation of the life sciences in Baden-Württemberg two
years ago, the expert group recommended, on behalf of the State, that the
ZAB be used as model for the ?rapid and unbureaucratic execution of
interdisciplinary cooperative research projects? in projects in applied
At the 5th anniversary celebration, the ZAB staff was also commended by
Deputy Chancellor Professor Mathias Langer and Minister Dr. Renate Fischer
of Baden-Württemberg?s Ministry for Economic Affairs. ?The ZAB provides
easily comprehensible illustrative material for the State and shows that it
is a worthwhile investment," said Minister Fischer and commented that the
centre was trend-setting with regard to raising money from foundations for
research. Langer emphasized that the University was proud of its centre and
that other universities were probably jealous of Freiburg with this centre.
?The rectorate will be glad to see further activities in future.?
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